233) THE RINGS OF AKHATEN

6 April 2013

Viewing Figure: 7.45M

Plot

The Doctor takes Clara to a distant planet where the Queen of Years must sing a song to keep a god asleep 

Cast

Matt Smith (The Doctor), Jenna Louise-Coleman (Clara), Michael Dixon (Dave), Nicola Sian (Ellie), Emilia Jones (Merry)

Chris Anderson (The Chorister), Aidan Cook (The Mummy), Karl Greenwood (Dor'een)

Uncredited Cast

Dean Hennessy, Ian Hilditch, Darren Clarke, Rhiannon Ward, Azaria Frost, Kally Davies, Carolyn Jolliffe, Samantha Darling, Lisa Jones

Josh Green, Andrew Hunter, Mickey Lewis, Ian Hoyle, Jeremy Harvey, Meg Mossemenear, Sasha Latoya, Samantha Longville

Natie Marie Davis, Benjamin Holmes, Nicholas Dunwell, Gwion Ap Rhisiart, Jack Ralls, Richard Husband, Sarah Anne Evans

Debbie Cox, Darren Swain, Luke Bailey, Jack Ralls Richard Husband, Patricia Dichler, Rhian Hatch (Millennium Aliens)

Chester Durrant, I-Kay Agu (Choristers), Jon Davey, Claudio Laurini, Mat Doman (Vigil), Matthew Cox (Voice of the Vigil)

Crew

Neil Cross (Writer), Marcus Wilson (Series Producer), Denise Paul (Producer), Farren Blackburn (Director)

Crispin Layfield (Stunt Coordinator), Dani Biernat, Gordon Seed, Andy J Smart (Stunt Performers)

David Mack (First Assistant Director), Heddi-Joy Taylor-Welch (Second Assistant Director), Danielle Richards (Third Assistant Director)

Gareth Jones, Louisa Cavell (Assistant Directors), Nicky James (Location Manager)

Monty Till (Unit Manager), Isetyn Hampson-Jones (Location Assistant), Phillipa Cole (Production Manager) 

Claire Hildred (Production Coordinator), Gabriella Ricci (Assistant Coordinator), Sandra Cosfield (Production Assistant)

Rachel Vipond, Samantha Price (Production Assistants), Rhys Evans (Assistant Production Accountant)

Johm Phillips (Assistant Script Editor), Rory Herbert (Script Supervisor), Joe Russell (Camera Operator)

James Scott, Chris Reynolds (Focus Pullers), Gary Norman (Grip), Meg de Koning, Sam Smithard, Cai Thompson (Camera Assistants)

Owen Charnley (Assistant Grip), Ross Adams, Chris Goding (Sound Maintenance Engineers), Mark Hutchings (Gaffer)

Stephen Slocombe (Best Boy), Bob Wilton, Nick Powell, Gafin Riley, Gareth Sheldon (Electricians)

Paul Spriggs (Supervising Art Director), Amy Pickwoad, Lucienne Suren (Art Directors), Adrian Anscombe (Set Decorator)

Adrian Greenwood, Holly Thurman (Production Buyers), Nandie Nariskin (Standby Art Director)

Richard Hardy (Assistant Art Director), Donna Shakesheff (Art Department Coordinator), Paul Smith (Props Master)

Ian Griffin (Props Chargehand), Jayne Davies (Set Dresser), Austin J Curtis, Jamie Farrell, Jamie Southcott (Prophands)

Helen Atherton, Rob Brandon (Standby Props), Mike Elkins, Paul Barnett (Dressing Props),Chris Lees (Graphic Designer)

Christina Tom (Graphic Artist), Andrew Wildman (Storyboard Artist), Florence Tucker (Petty Cash Buyer)

Will Pope (Standby Carpenter), Bryan Griffiths (Standby Rigger), Christian Davies (Practical Electrician)

Penny Howarth, Alan Hardy (Props Makers), Gareth Fox (Prop Driver), Terry Horle (Construction Manager)

Dean Tucker (Construction Chargehand), John Pinkerton (Scenic Artist), Fraser Purfit (Assistant Costume Designer)

Carly Griffith (Costume Supervisor), Katarina Cappallazzi, Gemma Evans (Costume Assistants), 

Vivienne Simpson, Sara Angharad, Allison Sing (Make-Up Artists), Alice Purser (Casting Associate)

Becky Torman, Katerina Aust (Assistant Editors), Joel Skinner (VFX Editor), Tim Ricketts (Dubbing Mixer)

Matthew Cox (ADR Editor), Darran Clements (Dialogue Editor), Paul Jefferies (Sound Effects Editor), Jamie Talbutt (Foley Editor)

Peter Anderson Studio (Graphics), BBC Wales Visual Effects (Additional Visual Effects) 

Geraint Pari Huws (Online Editor), Mick Vincent (Colourist), wirh thanks to Crouch End Festival Chorus

conducted by David TempleThe BBC National Orchestra of Walesconducted and orchestrated by Ben Foster

recorded and mixed by Jake JacksonRon Grainer (Original Theme Music), Andy Pryor CDG (Casting Director)

Julie Scott (Production Executive), Nerys Davies (Post Production Supervisor), Jeff Dunn (Production Accountant)

Deian Llyr Humphreys (Sound Recordist), Howard Burden (Costume Designer), Barbara Southcott (Make-Up Designer)

Murray Gold (Music), The Mill (Visual Effects), Real SFX (Special Effects), Prosthetics (Millennium FX), Sam Williams (Editor)

Michael Pickwoad (Production Designer), Dale McCready (Director of Photography), Des Hughes (Line Producer)

Steven Moffat, Caroline Skinner (Executive Producers)  

Uncredited Crew

Delmi Thomas, Harru Bunch (Third Assistant Directors), Charlotte Lailet de Ville, Gareth Webb (Assistant Directors)

Steve Walker (Script Supervisor), Paddy Blake, Richard Stoddard, Martin Stephens (Camera Operators), Duncan Fowlie, Chris Samworth

Trevor Speed, Leo Holba (Focus Pullers), Steve Manningham, Ellis Wyn Jones, Clive Baldwin, Damien Roberts (Grip)

Kriss Dallimore, Matt Lepper, James Brown, Laurence Watson (Camera Assistants)

Ben Moseley, Sam Reeves, Jac Hopkins (Assistant Grip), Laura Coates, Chris Hughes, Glyn Hamer (Sound Maintenance Engineers)

Ian Jewels (Best Boy), Dave Mount Stephens (Standby Rigger), Sian Samuel, Maria Franchi, Bianca Ward (Costume Assistants)

Julie Fox Pritchard (Make-Up Artist), Christian Joyce, Gareth Meirion Thomas (Sound Recordists), Neville Kidd (Director of Photography) 

Broadcast

Filming Locations

  • Rupert Brooke Drive, Newport

  • Playground, Goldsmith Close, Newport

  • St Woolos Cemetery,  Bassaleg Road, Newport

  • BBC Roath Lock Studios: Studio 1

  • BBC Roath Lock Studios: Studio 2

  • BBC Roath Lock Studios: Studio 3

  • BBC Roath Lock Studios: Studio 4

  • Beatty Avenue, Roath, Cardiff

Deaths

  • Ellie [dies at the age of 44 in 2005]

  • Akhaten [implodes when it eats up too many memories]

Production Days

  • 17 Days between Monday 22 October - Friday 30 November 2012

Production Errors

  1. The crack on the glass which houses the Mummy continually disappears and reappears between shots 

  2. When tasting the piece of alien fruit, Clara is eventually touching it with her mouth, and not actually eating it 

  3. There are a few moments where the extras playing the alien have little to no make-up around their eyes, thus damaging the illusion, and making it obvious that they are wearing masks

  4. When Vigil throw Clara against a wall, the wall moves when her back collides with it  

Working Titles

  • Alien Planet

Verdict

An impressive looking episode heavily inspired by 'Star Trek' and 'Star Wars' with an asteroid full of alien life serving as the main setting for the episode. Everything looks expensive and feels expensive but sometimes that hinders the episode from creating an interesting, easy to follow narrative. The whole Mummy in the Glass Case, Grandfather and Akhaten plots are likely to confuse viewers on a first viewing while further viewing would clear a few things up. The narrative feels rather rushed in places with The Doctor and Clara running from one place to another with little care of informing the audience what they are doing. The script has genuinely brilliant moments, The Doctor’s speech to Akhaten which is colorful and insightful but misses a big opportunity to revisit many of his past adventures. The episode ends without any mention of Mary or Dor’een and what became of them. The whole thing is tightly produced but the writing and plotting need more attention. ****​

76) THE ARK IN SPACE

Number of Production Days: 5